HANDWRITING IN THE COMPUTER AGE. TECHNIQUE OF GRAPHOMOTOR ACTIVITIES IN PUPILS BEGINNING PRIMARY SCHOOL – EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES
The article presents the results of investigations of graphomotor activities in pupils beginning primary school in Poland. The research was conducted in the group of 50 students of I grade of primary school. The group consisted of even number of boys and girls.
The technique of graphomotor activities was examined according to the procedure laid down in the authors’ Profile of Graphomotor Skills. The children were to draw letter-like designs as well as to copy texts. During the test the investigators observed the behavior of students and noted down their observations in individual Observation Protocols concerning the course of graphomotor activities in individual subjects. During separate meetings photographic documentation of the phenomena symptomatic of disorders of graphomotor activities was made.
The assessment of the course of graphomotor activities was carried out in seven categories (included in the Observation Protocol):
I. THE DOMINANT (GUIDING) HAND;
II. THE POSITION OF THE SHEET;
III. THE WAY OF HOLDING THE WRITING INSTRUMENT;
IV. THE DOMINANT (GUIDING) HAND ARRANGEMENT;
V. COOPERATION OF HANDS; VI. BODY POSTURE;
VII. THE PACE OF GRAPHOMOTOR ACTIVITIES.
The Observation Protocol was designed in such a way that the aforementioned categories would form a system indicating the direction of analysis of the behaviors observed so that the testing person could identify the most essential phenomena that determine the course of graphomotor activities. During the tests, the testing person notes down in the record of the Observation Protocol categories the following behaviors:
A) normative ones, which are desirable from the standpoint of the student’s acquisition of graphomotor skills and optimal for the activity of writing and drawing letter-like designs;
B) undesirable (erroneous habits stemming from the absence of correct patterns, insufficient help and supervision by teachers and/or parents; and the phenomena conditioned by dysfunctions in the child’s psychomotor development) as well as, at the early stage of education, developmental phenomena reflecting the gradual acquisition of graphomotor skills with individual differentiation of the rate of psychomotor development.
The quantitative and qualitative description of the phenomena, including the conceptual material, was carried out.